Monday, June 27, 2011

Mexican police say La Familia drug gang extorts farmers, miners, bullfighting

Mexico’s federal police agency, the Public Security Secretariat, outlined the local businesses preyed upon in a new report on the extent of the gang’s corruption and intimidation tactics in its home base of Michoacan state. In order to supplement drug-trafficking income, La Familia forces miners to pay $1.50 per ton of metal they sell and cattle ranchers to pay $1 per kilogram of meat, it said. Michoacan’s rich lime and avocado farms are subject to “quotas,” or a percentage of farmers’ earnings. Bullfights, cockfights and concerts also are extorted, the report says. The report charges that Michoacan state police commanders aid La Familia in its operations by permitting cartel operatives to use patrol cars, radio frequencies and police uniforms. The report relates how one former state police official used patrol cars to block off streets and help hit men escape other police. “They used state police infrastructure to establish routes and ensure the safety of their armed commandos,” the report says...more

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